History Theme 3: Economic, Political and Social Challenges (1950-1991)

Chapter 1: International Economic and Geopolitical Challenges (please go to Google Drive for all resources)

On an international scale, this chapter deals with the economic and geopolitical challenges within the context of the end of the post-war economic boom beginning in the early 1970s.

These developments coincide with major political and economic transformations: the Iranian Revolution with a focus on the rise of different forms of political Islam and their impact, (including briefly the events of 9/11), the Reagan Revolution, Deng Xiaoping’s socialist market economy, the collapse of the Soviet Union confronted by pro-democracy movements, and developments in the European project with the transition from the EEC to the EU and the origin of the Maastricht Treaty (1992).

The Single European Act of 1986 was a Cold War project for European integration that set the stage for the deeper union envisioned by the architects of the EU at Maastricht for organizing Europe in the aftermath of the cold war.

In addition, topics dealt with here link to other chapters in the program, including China’s emergence as an international power, the Middle East and international politics, and the New Deal and its legacy.

Oil and Political Islam: Regional and Global Challenges 1973-1991

PowerPoint for this part of the chapter:

Oil and Polit Islam

Short video about the Nixon shock to the US economy in 1971 which led to the end of the Bretton Woods System established at the end of WW2:

Explanation of the 1973 oil crisis which brought an end to the 30 Glorious Year of economic growth between 1944 and 1974:

The Impact of the 1979 Iranian Revolution:

Deng and Reagan: New Economic Directions, 1978-88

Ronald Reagan and Deng Xiaoping (plus Europe) are three models for addressing the economic challenges of the era, and particularly the economic decline and the rapid increase in globalization. China’s new economic approach underpins and accelerates China’s globalization ambitions in the 1980s and beyond. A study of Reagan’s efforts to dismantle the New Deal legacy is also an integral part of understanding the rise of conservatism dealt with in chapter two of this theme.

Overview PowerPoint for this part of the chapter:

Reagan and Deng Xiaoping

Link to article about the impact of Reagan on the USA:


Link to article about the reforms made to China:



The Rise of the EU and the Fall of the USSR: A New European Balance of Power, 1970s -1991

The push for further European integration and enlargement and the persistence of cold war dynamics in Europe are parallel and related developments in this period. The transition from the EEC to the EU is also a useful historical reference for Theme 3 in Geography.

Overview PowerPoints about the EU and the end of the Cold War:

EU history Intro

End of Cold War

Video about the key Maastricht Treaty which created the EU and the so-called Three Pillar structure of the EU:

President Reagan’s speech on the Evil Empire:

President Reagan’s speech about tearing down the Berlin Wall:

The Berlin Wall and CheckPoint Charlie:

The end of the USSR:


Chapter 2: Domestic Challenges within the USA and France from the 1950s to 2001

This chapter explores the political, social and cultural transformations in France and the United States during a period characterized by significant reforms and new political debate and divisions over social issues. The focus is on social history – African American civil rights, the rise of feminism and the changing role and status of women, Gay Rights, and the continuing struggle for a more equal society. These social issues emerge in the context of the rise of conservatism and its backlash to the counterculture society in the United States starting in the 1960s through to the 1990s. An additional perspective is the impact of the war in Vietnam, which is essential to understanding divisions and change in American society.



Vietnam War impact on American society and politics.

The intersection of the anti-war protest movement, the emergence of a youth counterculture and evolution of the Black Civil Rights movement.

PowerPoint about the Media and Vietnam:


An older but still useful information sheet on why the USA got involved with Vietnam:

Why did the USA get involved worksheet

Civil Rights Movement(s).

Goals, methods, successes and resistance, violence, with emphasis on Black Civil Rights.

Overview PowerPoint for this topic:

Black Civil Rights Overviewa


Rise and evolution of conservatism.

The backlash to the promotion of a liberal social agenda (Johnson’s Great Society) in conjunction with civil rights legislation and radical protests of the 1960s and early 1970s (Could include Goldwater’s campaign, John Birch Society, Nixon’s Southern strategy, politicization of the religious right, organized anti-abortion, anti-ERA efforts).

PowerPoint about the election of JFK his ideas about the NEW FRONTIER and then LBJ and the GREAT SOCIETY initiative:

New FrontierGreat Society

Overview PowerPoint about the rise of Conservatism in the late 1960s:

Rise of Conservatism Goldwater and Nixon



For these topics please go to the HISTORY THEME 3 CHAPTER 2 google drive folder:

1968 counterculture

Feminism and women’s rights

LGBTQ Rights

Pillar Two Activities









Geography Theme 2 – OIB Development Case Study of Russia

Russia, the largest state in the world, experienced significant economic and political changes during the 1990s caused by the transition for a centrally planned economy to one that is now market orientated. This shift created substantial inequalities that provide challenges for the government to manage today.

Short CNBC News report on the wealth gap in Russia (36s):

Copy and Paste this link for article with video:


Article from 2019 about inequalities in Russia:

Copy and Paste link:


Video (made by Gazprom, so be aware of bias) about Russia’s hydrocarbon reserves and shows how gas is transported via pipelines and ships to different countries (3m55):

Documents with exercises (Part 1):

Russia Case Stusy Part One

Russia Part Two

In this assignment you will learn how Russia is a continent which is rich in resources but remains at the mercy of fluctuations in their prices. It’s current population is just under 150 million inhabitants though it has lost population since the collapse of the Soviet Union (USSR) in 1991. You will also study, Norilsk, a town within the arctic circle, which has been a closed city since 1991 and is exploited for it’s mineral resources but pays a terrible environmental and social price.

Begin by watching the video tutorial which explains the work here:


Read the article under this link to learn about the closed city of Norilsk:

Norilsk: A Closed City in Siberia

Then watch this documentary about the city here:

The assignment documents and exercises are available here:

Russia case Study pt2



For T°OIB you will need to get used to writing long essays (approximately 800-1000 words) in the space of just two hours. Here is a OIB Bac style question for you to write an essay response to using the resources above and what you have learnt from completing Russia Case Study Pt 1 and Pt2:


T°Euro : The Maastricht Treaty

The Maastricht Treaty, known formally as the Treaty on European Union, is the international agreement responsible for the creation of the European Union (EU) signed in 1991 and which became effective in 1993.

PowerPoint to introduce this topic and show several cartoons produced about events between 1991 and 1992:

Masstricht Treaty Explained

Article from the BBC and comprehension questions (send in a photo of your responses for a grade):

The Maastricht Treaty Documenta



History Theme 3: The State in the Modern Epoch

The Affirmation of the State in the Kingdom of France

A short video tutorial I made to introduce and explain this theme and the assignments:

Learning Objective: To understand the affirmation of the State in France in its multiple dimensions

Key Question (for lessons):

How was the monarchy strengthened in the 16th century?


Read the chapter below (both parts) and complete the timeline (following the instructions on the timeline worksheet). Then on a separate sheet of paper complete carefully constructed written responses to Questions: 1, 3, 4, 5, 6 and 7.

Louis XIV Chp Part One

Louis XVI Chp Part Two

Louis XIV Time linea

Additional video about Louis XIV and absolute monarchy in France (14mins):


Work for week beginning 8th March, to be completed for Tuesday 23rd March: The British Model

Another another short video tutorial I made introduce the topic and explain the chapter you have been given to work on:


Introductory PowerPoint:

Parliament Limits English Monarchy

Learning Objective: To understand how the creation of a representative government and definition of fundamental rights inspired philosophers during the 17th century.

Key Question (for lessons): How did Parliament limit the English Monarchy?


Read and study the chapter below to understand how the English Parliament came to limit the power of the monarchy in the 17th century:

British Model Chpa1


Read the chapter above and as you read it make a table (or chart) listing the causes of James I, Charles II and James II’s conflicts with parliament (see example on left hand side of first page of this chapter).

Then on a separate sheet of paper complete carefully constructed written responses to Questions: 1,2, 3,4,5,6,7 and 8

Additional video explaining the Glorious Revolution (12mins):


2°OIB Geography Theme 2 – Challenges of Territories, Populations and Development

Differentiated Demographic Trajectories: Challenges of Number and Ageing

Learning Objectives of this chapter:

– To study how territories experience different demographic and economic transitions according to level of development and inequality

– Examine case studies of development in India

– Learn about the issue of an ageing population in Japan.

Key Questions:

What does development mean?

What is the impact of demographic and economic transitions?

How is India developing?

What challenges does an ageing population pose to Japan?


2° Geog Theme 2 DNL Vocab

Review / Revision of the Basics:

Understanding Population Growth and Density:

The DTM:

Demographic Transition Model Explaind

Understanding the DTM (Demographic Transition Model):

Annotated DTM graphs:


The role of a state in models of development

Case Study: The Age Bomb – How Japan is managing an ageing population:

How Is Japan Dealing With Its Rapidly Ageing Population

Case Study: Challenges of Development in India

India’s Path to Economic Development

India’s Population Pyramid

History Theme 2: Europe and the Cold War

Do not forget to use your codes to access Britannica School to research information about this theme

Chapter 1: The end of WW2 and Emergence of the Cold War, 1944-50

This chapter sheds light on the parallel and contradictory developments in the immediate post-war era: the desire to create a stable new world order at the same time as the breakdown of the Grand Alliance and emergence of superpower rivalry between the USA and the USSR which led to two competing spheres of influence and formed a new world order of tensions between East and West.

Overview PowerPoint for the period from the end of WWW2 to 1950 is here:

Cold War OIB

Resource Pack including Individual Student Enquiry here:

Emergence of Cold War Resource Packb

Hist Theme 2 Chp1 Activities

Churchill and Iron Curtain article here:

Churchill article Iron curtain speech

Key topics from World War Two for explaining the origins of the Cold War:

  1. i) The occupation and effective division of Europe (particularly Germany) by the two

emerging superpowers,

  1. ii) The Bretton Woods Agreement:


iii) Yalta and Potsdam

  1. iv) The opening of the UN
  2. v) The American use of the atomic bomb



Key topics for explaining the development of the Cold War between 1945 and 1950:

  1. i) The Iron Curtain speech, 1946
  2. ii) The Truman Doctrine, Marshall Plan and containment policy, 1947

The Sinews of Peace (‘Iron Curtain Speech’)



iii) The Berlin Blockade and Airlift, 1948/9


  1. iv) The Creation of NATO, 1949
  2. v) The outbreak of the Korean War, 1950



Reference Points


  • Truman Doctrine and Marshall Plan
  • Berlin Blockade and Airlift
  • 38th Parallel and outbreak of the Korean War

Further resources:

CNN The Cold War Series episode 1

CNN The Cold War episode 2: The Iron Curtain

Chapter 2: A New Geopolitical Order – Emergence of the Developing World (1948-1970s)

This chapter shows how geopolitics of the Cold War interfered with the decolonization process and led to the emergence of new actors as the newly independent countries asserted their international role, thereby challenging the bi-polar order.

Chapter 2 Reference Points

  • 1948- the birth of the State of Israel
  • French Indochina War and the start of the Vietnam War
  • 1962- Cuban Missile Crisis

Key Questions

  1. What were the international consequences of the emergence of newly independent countries in the two decades following the end of WWII?
  2. To what extent did newly independent countries challenge the bipolar world (1948 – 1970)?
  3. Analyze the impact of the Bandung Conference of 1955, with the appearance of the decolonizing Afro-Asian bloc.
  4. In what ways was the process of decolonization linked to the Cold War?
  5. Analyze the responses of the USA to each of the following:
  6. the creation of the state of Israel, 1948*
  7. the appearance of Mao’s China,1949*
  8. Castro’s seizure of power in Cuba, 1959*

Student Resource work booklet for all parts of this chapter:

Hist Th2 Chp2 Resource Work Booklet

Part One: Decolonization and the Cold War

Learning Objectives

  • Understand the significance of the Bandung Conference and the extent of Non-Alignment.
  • Analyze the impact of the Bandung Conference of 1955, with the appearance of the decolonizing Afro-Asian bloc.

PowerPoint about Part One:

Non alignment and Bandung



Pillar One: The Creation of Israel and the Arab response (Suez Crisis and Nasserism, 1956)

Focus of study:

– Emergence of Zionism & Arab nationalism

– Intervention of foreign powers (superpowers & former colonial powers)

– Arab-Israeli Conflicts/ Wars


  • Analyze how the Partition of Palestine came about and its consequences.

PowerPoints for the Partition of Palestine and Suez Crisis:

Partition of Palestine

Suez Crisis 1956


Site with lots of cartoons about the Middle East:



Pillar Two: Emergence of Mao’s China (1949 – 1972)

Focus of study:

  1. Cold War alliance with the USSR before Sino-Soviet Split, 1950-1962
  2. Securing borders & challenging US in the Cold War (Tibet annexation, 1950, intervention in Korean War & sabre-rattling in Taiwan Straits, 1954
  3. Testing nuclear weapon, 1964
  4.  Support of African anti-colonial independence movements in the 1960s to gain diplomatic allies in  the push for a seat in the United Nations Security Council.


Evaluate the extent to which Mao’s foreign Policy challenged Cold War bipolarization from 1949 to 1972.

PowerPoint for Pillar Two:

Mao’s China 1948 to 72

CNN Cold War Episode 15 China 1949-72:

Cold War China Qs Worksheet


Pillar Five: Castro’s Cuba (1959 – 1962)

Focus of Study

This pillar highlights the spread of the Cold War into the Western Hemisphere and analyzes the US response during the Cuban Missile Crisis.


Analyze the consequences of Castro coming to power in Cuba

CNN Cold War Episode 10 Cuba:

Cold War Cuba Qs worksheet

History: First States, First Written Record

The Fertile Crescent

The first states developed in the fertile crescent of the Middle East.

Follow this link for a map of the fertile crescent:


The Fertile Crescent Intro

Mesopotamia witnessed the creation of the first city-states which were controlled by kings who fixed the rules. In Egypt, the territory was organized around the Nile under the authority of an all-powerful ruler – the pharaoh. His people considered him to be a god and constructed temples, palaces and pyramids in his honour.

Information about one of the largest early settlement: Çatalhöyük


Early Villages


Settlement: this is a generic word for a place where people live such as a farm,

village, town or city.

Ancient Egypt

Ancient Egypt was one of the oldest and longest lasting world civilizations. It was located along the Nile River in the northeast part of Africa and lasted for over three thousand years. The Ancient Egyptian pyramids are some of the most impressive structures built by humans in ancient times. Many of the pyramids still survive today for us to see and explore.


Link to a great site for information about the pyramids:



Oral Exam Practice Schedule


Schedule / weekly presentation order


Oral Examination Guidelines:

Candidates are given a passage by the examiner of not more than 40 lines from
one of their three works in depth: The Tempest, a novel or a poem.
This passage is prepared in a room with other students where ID cards and
convocations are checked. No personal notes, cell phones or dictionaries are
available. The student prepares the first half of the oral, situating the passage in
the work as a whole, analyzing it thematically and stylistically and linking it to
two other works on the syllabus.

After 30 minutes the examiner takes the candidate to the exam room where
the student is invited to read a part of the passage and to speak for at least 10
minutes uninterrupted. If the student encounters difficulties of any sort, the
examiner will help out with questions. After 10 minutes of commentary, the
candidate should move on to making stylistic and thematic links with two other
works on the syllabus. If the commentary appears to exceed ten minutes, the
examiner reminds the student that it must be finished up. Links to other works
should be well developed, lasting a good two minutes for each one. This is the
opportunity for candidates to lead the examiner towards themes and stylistic
devices they are particularly interested in. During the entire oral exam the
examiner will be taking notes on a document to be kept for a year in case of
questions of any sort.

In the second half of the oral, the examiner asks questions about other works
on the syllabus, often following the lead given by the student. All three works in
depth must be touched on and ideally another 3 to 5 works. Since this is a
literature exam, students are awarded extra points if they spontaneously speak
about style without prompting from the examiner. At the end of the oral the
examiner collects all the notes taken by students during the preparation period.

FIRST HALF (15 minutes) Candidate leads
Introduction: Situation and Thesis (1 to 2 minutes)
Commentary: Parts and Detailed analysis (8 minutes)

Links: Stylistic and thematic comparison to two other works (5 minutes)

SECOND HALF (15 minutes) Examiner leads
Thematic and stylistic questions on 4 to 6 other works on the syllabus are
discussed in a literary conversation.

FIRST PART OF ORAL (15 minutes)

passage is important in the work as a whole) (1 to 2 minutes)
The conclusion should be given in the introduction. Unlike in French
orals, OIB students should immediately state what the passage is about and
why it is important in the work as a whole.

For example, Act 1 Scene 2 lines 66-105 is part of Prospero’s first
conversation with Miranda which serves as a exposition device in which
Prospero explains the background and introduces some of the key characters
in the story. In this section of the conversation, which is in many ways a
monologue delivered to Miranda, he establishes the dichotomy between
himself and his brother Antonio. To do so, Prospero not only offers a detailed
description of his brother’s betrayal, but uses opposing language of “good”
and “trust” versus “evil” and “false” to describe himself and his brother
respectively. The student’s introduction should entail a brief reference to
how the actions and words of each character before and after this extract
show Prospero to be a reliable if not dispassionate narrator here.

II. COMMENTARY (8 to 9 minutes)
A. Defining Parts (1 to 2 minutes)
The candidate should point out (without giving precise line numbers) various
movements and shifts  in the passage. Changes in ideas should be noted,
progressions defined. In order to find these, the student should look for changes
in TONE. Where does an author, narrator, character, persona move from anger
to self-pity, from cool reasoning and detachment to an emotional outburst?
Why? These changes in tone are often signaled by punctuation, (exclamation
marks especially), indentations or a change in line length. Once the passage or
poem is divided into parts according to different ideas and tones, the examiner
will have a clear indication of the student’s understanding of its importance. The
student will have a clear outline from which to proceed!

B. Detailed analysis (6 to 8 minutes)
Here, the student should go down through the passage, not in a strictly linear
fashion as in a French « explication de texte » (there will not be enough time to
do so). However, the text should be followed more or less chronologically to
make it easier for the examiner to follow and for the student not to forget
important elements. This is what is meant by linear but not too linear. The
main ideas must be explained and important stylistic devices pointed out:
metaphors, similes, sounds (alliteration, assonance and consonance), line length
if important, repetitions, and striking images, especially those which recur in the
work as a motif. In all cases style must be linked to meaning.

C. Conclusion (1 minute)

Without any unnecessary repetition, a conclusion should be once again drawn as
to the overall importance of the passage within the work as a whole. For
example, one might conclude that Prospero’s exposition introduces many of the
important themes of the play, such as the use and abuse of power, manipulation,
and natural order, which he himself will struggle with.

D. Links (4 to 5 minutes)
This is the moment when candidates take the oral into their own hands. Though
it may appear difficult to link a passage to other works on the syllabus, this is not
hard if one takes into account both stylistic and thematic possibilities. For
example, if the passage given is an exposition device (to continue our Tempest
example), it suffices to find a moment of exposition in any other work on the
syllabus: Chillingworth’s conversation with the Townsman, Esther’s
conversations with any of the characters in Act 1 scenes 1-5, Baldwin’s use of

A student may choose to make a comparison based on a similar theme (use of
power, abuse of power, leadership, manipulation, desire for knowledge, illusion
versus reality) and so forth.

To complete the comparison, style must be taken into account. Lahiri’s semi-
omniscient narratives offer a singular subjective viewpoint, like Prospero’s, and
the reader must read between the lines to understand more fully, while
Hawthorne offers insight into a variety of character’s thoughts and pasts for the
reader to critique. Shakespeare uses reflection upon the past, as does
Hawthorne, but not always for the same purposes. So the possibilities for links
are nearly endless and candidates are encouraged to use whatever comparisons
or contrasts they deem interesting and able to sustain for more than just a
sentence. To develop links it is necessary to speak both about what is similar and
different in two works, both stylistically and thematically.


This part of the oral is intended to be a conversation between the candidate
and the examiner in which different points of view are exchanged, moving
from one work to another according to the depth of knowledge and opinions
of the candidate. The examiner will be looking for what candidates know, not
what they do not know. Students are encouraged to be active and to speak
about style as often as possible, always in relation to the author’s aims. The
more sophisticated the literary analysis, the richer the exchange will be.
GOOD LUCK! Most OIB students recall their literature oral as a wonderful
moment, so enjoy it!